Presanctified Liturgy And The Marriage Ceremony

Several years ago during our Lenten clergy retreat Fr. Calivas mentioned, in passing, that the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, which we celebrate during the week (not on weekends) during Lent, at one time had a connection with the marriage service in the Orthodox Church.  He mentioned this to show that there is more to the service than its penitential character, which is a big reason we celebrate it during the 40 days leading up to Holy Week.  The combination of the marriage service and the liturgy fell out of practice in the 8th or 9th century.  I imagine the spirit behind it was similar to the Roman Catholic tradition of having a wedding mass.  I have never been able to find anything about this connection online, which is amazing, but I did notice something the other night while celebrating the liturgy that is perhaps a remnant of the old practice; at the very least it is a strong connection.

During the part of the liturgy labeled “second setting of the psalter“, Psalm 127/128 is read.  These verses are also part of the wedding service.  They are sung with a refrain of “Glory to you O Lord, glory to you” right at the beginning of the crowing service.  Here is the psalm itself:

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You shall eat of your hand’s labor: blessed are you, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your house: your children like olive shoots around your table. Behold, in this way shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Sion, and may you see the wealth of Jerusalem all the days of your life. And may you see your children’s children. Peace upon Israel!


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